Bike Power to the People

Photo: PeopleForBikes

How Cannondale, PeopleForBikes, and Public Lands are putting more people on bikes, and protecting the cherished places we ride.

PeopleForBikes has one lofty, yet noble aim: Make the United States the best bicycling nation in the world. “We’re not afraid to take on Europe!” says Jordan Trout, Deputy Marketing Director for the nonprofit bicycle advocacy group. 

Since it was founded in 1999, PeopleForBikes has been working to make bicycling easy, accessible, safe, and fun for everyone—no matter where in the country they live or why they ride a bike, explains Trout. Based in Boulder, Colo., the nonprofit works to improve infrastructure by helping accelerate existing bike networks within cities, while helping establish and nurture new networks in rural communities. It encourages participation through various efforts, including the implementation of policies that create incentives for people to purchase and ride bikes.

Cannondale, a stalwart manufacturer of all types of bicycles—from mountain bikes to ebikes, commuter bikes to kids’ bikes—helped get PeopleForBikes off the ground and rolling 23 years ago, and the two still work closely together.

“Cannondale was one of 10 industry companies who put competition aside and decided to grow both participation and sales,” says PeopleForBikes President and CEO, Jenn Dice. “We’ve now mushroomed from 10 members when we started to more than 300 supplier members currently. And we’ve got 1.4 million supporters in our network. We try to help any one of our members get more people on bikes, get more people outside embracing trails, bike parks and connected bike networks.”

A larger network of both advocates and riding opportunities only benefits the sport, where Cannondale’s Josh Richman now says that PeopleForBikes is “one of the leading voices in ensuring cycling is as accessible and approachable as can be.”

And it’s not only improving infrastructure, notes Richman. Another key is the organization’s ability to push regulation, “to ensure bikes in general and ebikes, in particular, are legal and able to be enjoyed in as many areas of the country as possible.”

Three women standing outside a bike shop Photo: PeopleForBikes

Starting in two select areas with Public Lands retail locations, Cannondale and PeopleForBikes are helping store explorers utilize resources to enjoy riding their bikes with PeopleForBikes “Ride Spot” app, website, as well as its physical route cards. Ride Spot locates the best options depending on the type of bike purchase and prospective ride that interests the user. 

For instance, following the purchase of a mountain bike, Ride Spot route cards help address the next most obvious question: “Where do I ride this?” As Trout explains, each route is vetted with photos to provide rides with options specific to the bike purchased. Cyclists can either download the app and the route from a QR code in the store, visit the Ride Spot website, or take a small, physical card that explains the route, step-by-step. “The goal,” she adds, “is to really demystify where you ride your new bike.”

For Public Lands stores with ride centers, PeopleForBikes offers the following examples of worthy rides accessible via Ride Spot:

Polaris, Ohio

Public Lands – Darby Creek Trail - Gravel Path - All Skill Levels

Alum Creek Beginner Loop + Skills Park - MTB - Beginner

Alum Creek Phase Two – Advanced MTB - MTB - Expert

Cranberry Township, Pa.

North Park Family Ride - All Skill Levels

Frick Park - MTB - Intermediate

Graham Park Family Ride - All Skill Levels

“The Ride Spot route cards allow retailers to say, ‘Here’s a great route for the bike you bought: Here’s your first one, here’s your second one, and when you’re done with that, we’ve got three more for you,’” adds Dice. “It’s keeping the conversation going about your next great ride.”

And though PeopleForBikes and Cannondale want more people to enjoy the simple freedom of two wheels, they’re also well aware of the need to preserve areas for riding, “keeping them in perpetuity, protecting them from resource extraction, and celebrating the great outdoors,” says Dice, noting the group’s efforts to impact broader policy decisions. “A big part of PeopleForBikes’ work is lobbying for more access, for conservation and protection of these public spaces that we cherish.” 

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.